Back after a two-week hiatus, the St. Louis Review has in-depth articles about Archbishop Burke’s appointment.
As archbishop, building upon the strength of Catholic life in the archdiocese, I tried to lead you in the new evangelization, which is so needed in the totally secularized society in which we live. Your response has been dedicated and generous. In thanking you for your response to my pastoral leadership in carrying out the new evangelization, I urge you to continue to teach, to celebrate in prayer and the Sacred Liturgy, and to live in practice our Catholic faith with new enthusiasm and new energy, with the enthusiasm and energy of the first disciples of our Lord and of the first missionaries to our part of the world
During my service in the archdiocese and as I am now leaving you, the secular media have focused very much on the controversies that have marked my years in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. While the controversies have been difficult for us all, I did not shrink from them when I knew the integrity of our Catholic faith, worship and practice was at stake. Our society, which esteems above all political correctness, views negatively anyone who is in the eye of a controversy over questions of faith and morals. Yet, in the Church, we know that we, like our Divine Master, are destined to be a “sign of contradiction” (Luke 2:34). It is not by chance that our most esteemed religious symbol is the crucified Christ.
If a totally secularized society is not uncomfortable with the way we teach and pray and live, then we are not putting the truth of our faith into practice. While we must always speak the truth with love (Ephesians 4:15), we must speak the truth. A society that prefers the comfort of confusion and error will not be pleased. But what alone matters for us is that we be pleasing in the eyes of God. Thank you for holding fast to the truth of our Catholic faith, for praying and worshiping with great devotion and fervor and for witnessing to the truth of the faith in your attitudes, words and actions.